Authorties Warn Parents After Police Lt. Charged In Child Porn

8:45 PM, Jan 23, 2010   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

EDGEWATER, Md (WUSA) -- He's a trusted police lieutenant, the owner of a local teen hang out, and a respected neighbor -- and now he's charged with child porn.
 
Anne Arundel County Police Lt. James Cifala a possible mandatory minimum of five years in prison for allegedly sexting with a teenage girl.

The texts are almost unbelievable. The FBI says Cifala repeatedly texted the girl urging her to undress and expose herself and send him pictures.

Most of the exchanges are far too graphic to describe.

The FBI suspects Cifala took pictures of himself naked at home in Edgewater near Annapolis in the bedroom of the house he shares with his wife and sent them the girl.

And they suspect Cifala received several pictures of the teenager exposing her genitals that they found on her phone after her mother told authorities she thought her daughter was having an affair with a man 30 years older than her.

"You expect law enforcement officers to be catching people involved in this crime rather than engaging in it themselves," says US Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

Neighbors say they're shocked. Cifala's next door neighbor, Karen Scarpignato, says her 19 year old daughter was planning to go back to work for the police lieutenant at the Edgewater Rita's franchise he owns. "She's devastated. He opened the the Rita's to help the kids in the community who we're having trouble. He hired my daughter and really straightened her out."

The Justice Department has been supporting public service announcements warning teenagers about the dangers of sexting and posting nude pictures of themselves on the web.

"If your kid has a cell phone, you ought to be checking the phone calls and you ought to be checking the pictures on that phone," says Rosenstein.

He says case after case proves the pedophile can be just about anyone.

Authorities say more charges could be coming.

Written by Bruce Leshan
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com

Most Watched Videos